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    Copyright © 2009-2017
    Joan Y. Edwards and her licensors.

    Active since 0ctober 9, 2009. Thank you for reading and leaving comments on my blog.

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Happy 8th Blogaversary


7 balloons filled with helium and tied together with a string.

Happy 8th Blogaversary Image Credit: Pixabay

 

“Happy 8th Blogaversary” by Joan Y. Edwards

It’s hard to believe that it has been 8 years since I started this blog. Oh my goodness! Thank you for reading and following my blog. I have had fun getting to know each of you who have responded in the comment area. I smile each time I receive an email saying that one of you subscribed to my blog. Those things mean a lot to me. They tell me that what I’ve written means something to you the reader. That’s an awesome experience and a great privilege and honor.

I started it on October 9, 2009. At the time, I didn’t know what I was going to write. I just knew that I wanted to write articles to inspire people to keep reaching for their goals and to never give up.

My focus has been inspiration, education, laughter for everyone.

For writers, I’ve placed special emphasis on articles about writing, revising, and marketing a manuscript. I developed PubSubbers plan with detailed steps to get a manuscript ready for submission. PubSubbers and Week 1 have received more than 2,000 views. I researched publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts and listed them in a blog post.

Pub Subbers
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

The last two years, I’ve added a focus on adding inspiration, education, and laughter for artists and illustrators because as I’ve needed a little help and encouragement myself as I’ve worked on the illustrations for my chapter book, Larry, the Terrifying Turkey.  It will have at least 15 illustrations – one for each chapter. I have 7 draft illustrations done. To celebrate today, I thought I’d share a draft of the cover. It’s not etched in stone. It’s a draft. I am self-publishing it when I complete the illustrations.

turkey chasing young girl

DRAFT Cover or Larry, the Terrifying Turkey Copyright 2017 Joan Y. Edwards. The book will be 5.5 x 8.5 inches, so the final cover will be narrower.

Selling Pitch/Blurb for Book Cover:  Larry, the Terrifying Turkey, Chapter Book, Ages 6-8, Grades 1-3

Scarred by her mother’s pet turkey and taunted by her third grade classmates, Sara Brown searches for a way to get back at him. Will she face the turkey square in the gobbler or will her parents ground her until she is twenty-one after she wrecks her mother’s new car?

I now have 422 subscribers. Thank you for all of you who have subscribed to my blog.

If you haven’t subscribed, please do. Subscribers get an email notice each time I post a new blog article. New subscribers also get 3 free gifts:

  • Never Give Up image
  • 20 Affirmations for Writers
  • Ten Time Savers for Writers and Illustrators

Here are the top 12 blog posts, each has over 2,000 views:

  1. 40 Publishers Who Accept Unsolicited Manuscripts
  2. 22 Literary Agents Who Are Looking for You
  3. How Many Words Should Your Sentences Contain?
  4. What Is the Purpose of Dialogue in Your Story?
  5. 7 Questions to Make Sure Your Plot Has Believable Consequences
  6. Family Sewing Projects – Jedi Robes and Princess Leia Ponchos
  7. What Are Easy Readers?
  8. Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story
  9. Prayers for Writers and Patron Saint of Writers
  10. What Is Your Story’s Premise? Editors Want to Know
  11. About Me
  12. Twelve Ways to Get Over Disappointment

Do you have a favorite post from my blog? I hope you’ll share it with me.

To celebrate my 8th Blogaversary, I offered a choice of prizes for the lucky person chosen by Random.org who left a comment on this blog between October 9 and October 17…8 days. I decided to give a prize to TWO winners instead of one. Here are the names of the ten wonderful, delightful, fantastic people who left a comment. 

  1. Sandra Warren
  2. Claire Iannini
  3. Gretchen Griffith
  4. Dr. Bob Rich
  5. Linda Martin Andersen
  6. Maureen Crites
  7. J.Q. Rose
  8. Joan Reid
  9. Carol Federlin Baldwin
  10. Cat Michaels

Random.org chose two winners for me – #5 and #2. So, Linda Martin Andersen and Claire Iannini you may choose one of the four choices below for your prize for  winning the 8th Blogaversary giveaway. 

  1. A copy of Flip Flap Floodle.
  2. A copy of Joan’s Elder Care Guide
  3. A critique of 5,000 words.
  4. An image of the winner or their favorite animal saying, “I Never Give Up.” 

Please email me with your choice at joanyedwards1 @ gmail.com.

COMMENT

Believe in You
Never Give Up

Books to Enjoy
Flip Flap Floodle, Will this little duck’s song save him from Mr. Fox?
Joan’s Elder Care Guide published by 4RV Publishing. A great gift for a friend who is caring for a loved one.

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2017 Joan Y. Edwards

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Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join over 422 Valued Subscribers and receive entertaining, encouraging posts PLUS 3 free gifts:

  1. Never Give Up image
  2. 20 Affirmations for Writers
  3. Ten Time Savers for Writers and Illustrators

 

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Believe You Can, Visualize Success, and Take Action


“Believe You Can, Visualize Success, and Take Action” by Joan Y. Edwards

The things that go through your mind can either make you or break you. They either hold you back to the old, or give you freedom to do things that you have never been done.  It will give you the freedom to do things that no one has ever done.

Do you find yourself hearing a little voice on your left shoulder saying, “I can’t do it. There’s no way.”

From the right shoulder you hear a voice saying, “I can do it. I’ll find a way.”

According to the studies I’ve done and the people I’ve talked with, we all have these voices. Some from within, some reflected from our self-image out and reflected back to us the thoughts, fears, and ideas we have within us. We have to conquer these negative thoughts. We have to think above them and beyond them.

Henry Ford very wisely pointed out that your brain wants you to be right. It searches for life experiences to make us right. “Whether you think you can or can’t…you are right.”

Believe you can.

The only voice that can really stop you from achieving your goal is what you say to yourself. I think the people in history who accomplished the impossible, did so because of three factors:

#1 They kept on trying to achieve the goal even with other people’s voices or their own voice telling them they couldn’t do it. They turned it into a stronger, “Yes. I can do it. Or no matter what you say, I’m going to try. I’m going to figure out a way to do it in spite of the odds.

#2 They captured a vision of success in their minds, looking past all the obstacles that might be placed between them and their goal. They kept this vision that they could do it at the top of their minds, with pictures, with words, with recordings. They took baby steps. Each little success kept them going. Little failures may have pushed them back a couple of steps, or put them down in the dungeon for awhile. However, this belief kept them going.

#3 They took action towards the goal.

The Wright Brothers kept the vision that they could indeed make an airplane that could fly.

Eastman Kodak made a camera that could take pictures.

Gutenberg invented a printing press.

Edward Everett Hale said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

Remember that you are one. God sent you here for many purposes. There is one thing you can do that no other person who has ever graced this earth can do. Spend time with yourself. Discover what this is. Do it.

You can’t write all the stories that publishers want now. Write your story. Write the best you can. Believe in your story. It will find its way to the arms of a publisher who believes in your story as much as you do. Believing is contagious. Catch it like a lightning bug. Watch it glimmer and shine. Then let it go. Let go of all the negative. Empower yourself. Send it off to a critique group. Send it off to a publisher or agent.

If it’s not writing, it’s okay. If it’s sports, do it. If it’s cooking, be the best chef you can be. If it’s teaching, teach. If’ it’s caring for your elder, love yourself and your elder. Do it the best you can. If you don’t know how, learn. Empower yourself with love and education. Do it.

If you have doubts, pray, and educate yourself. If you still have doubts, draw a picture of you completing it. Stick figures are okay. Find magazine pictures. Newspaper articles, internet articles. Your brain puts pictures in your mind and puts labels with them. Draw your stick figure of you celebrating the accomplishment of your goals. Write your goals down. Write them in the present tense.

I am…

I have…

I can…

I allow myself to…

Believe in an abundance of skills, money, resources, education, and motivation to accomplish your goal(s).

If you still have doubts, then say:

God believes in me, I can do it. Joan Y. Edwards believes in me. She believes that I can do it. If I believe in me, too, the power of three will work towards my advantage.

Here are other resources to help encourage and inspire you to believe in yourself more fully than you’ve ever done before.

Clay Andrews. “4 Things that Keep You from Your Goals:” http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/4-things-that-keep-you-from-your-goals/

Holly Jahangiri. “Keep Your Eye on the Goal:” http://thenextgoal.com/2011/12/keep-your-eye-on-the-goal/

Liraz.com. “30 Best Anecdotes of All Time:” http://www.liraz.com/Anecdote.htm

Melonie Dodaro.  “Positive-Thought Strategies to Help You Reach Your Goals:” http://life.gaiam.com/article/positive-thought-strategies-help-you-achieve-your-goals

Moya Mulvay. Inspirational Quotes and Thoughts. Download Free pdf ebooks. http://www.inspirational-quotes-and-thoughts.com/download-free-pdf-ebooks.html

Wikipedia. “Edwards Everett Hale:” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Everett_Hale

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope I’ve inspired you to believe in yourself. Join 83 other people who have subscribed to my blog.  Click the Sign Me Up in the left hand column, or click on Follow if it is visible at the top of the page. When I reach 100 subscribers, I’ll choose ten at random subscribers to win a free first page critique.  The 100th subscriber will win a free critique of the first 1000 words of a manuscript, along with its pitch.  That sounds like fun to me. I hope it sounds like fun to you, too.

Thank you for sharing my blog post links with your friends. I am honored by everyone who reads my blog. Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Celebrate you. You’re the only human being exactly like you. Be happy. Be thankful. Be excited to be you.
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2011 Joan Y. Edwards

Look at all these ways to share my blogposts. Wow! They are listed in the comments area. However, I thought I’d add them here, just in case you didn’t see them.

Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story


“Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story” by Joan Y. Edwards

Editors ask: What is the universal theme of your story? information book? article? poem?

What do you answer? Are you clueless? Perhaps I can help.

I went to the Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers Workshop in Oceanside, Oregon from July 12-16, 2010. I was sharing a poem I wrote. The editor wanted to know what was my poem’s universal theme. What I had thought was a universal theme was really not universal. It was regional or subjective. Therefore, I did research to find out more about the subject of universal theme.

But first you have to know what your conflict is. To gain more readership, make your conflict one of the universal conflicts listed below.
What does the main character want that he cannot get or have?
Conflicts:
Conflict adds excitement and suspense to the story.
What disturbed him beyond belief? What is the cause of distress for the main character?
What disrupts the business as usual of the main character?
What happens that the main character may try to ignore but cannot? He has to deal with this problem, internally and externally.

The internal conflict comes when the main character has to choose between two solutions to the problem: one moral, one immoral; one against his family rules; one against club’s rules; one that might hurt his friend, one that might hurt himself; one that might win the trust of his friends, one that would make him untrustworthy, one that makes him a liar, one that makes him tell the truth; mixed emotions add the tension to the story and make people want to read it to find out what the main character decided to do and what the consequences were for his actions….did it bring him closer to the goal, or bring him to his last breath.

Universal Conflicts
In a story you have one of the following universal conflicts played out:
Archetypes
Man against Man
Man against Self
Man against Nature
Man against Society
Man against Family
Man against the Universe
Man against Machines
Man against Institutions
Man against God
Man against Time
Man against Destiny

Never fear: Your story will probably fit into one of the universal conflicts listed above.

Goals Main Characters Struggle for, Search for, Need, Want
Acceptance, Admiration, Ambition, Approval, Attention, Authority, Awareness, Beauty. Belief, Belonging, Choices, Commitment, Community, Compassion, Cooperation, Courage, Dedication, Dream, Education, Equality, Experience, Faith, Family, Friendship, Godly love, Good, Gratitude, Heroes /Heroic Figures and Actions, Honesty, Honor, Hope, Human Relationships, Humor, Identity, Independence, Individuality, Innocence, Justice, Laughter, Law and Order, Live forever, Love, Loyalty, Marriage, Money, Morality,
Nature, Nonviolence, Passion, Peace, Perseverance, Possibilities, Power, Principles, Rebirth, Redemption, Religion, Respect, Responsibility, Romance, Sex, Spiritual enlightenment, Success, Taxes, Time, Trust, Truth, Understanding.

Forces Opposing Main Character, Keep Him from Reaching His Goal, Struggle Against, Has to Triumph Over, Doesn’t Want, Opposite of Goal, Perils of, What the Main Character Doesn’t want:
Accusation, Alienation, Ambition, Authority, Beliefs, Betrayal, Blame, Challenge, church, Coming of Age, Competition, Corruption, Country, County, Court, Crime, Death, Deception, Despair, Destruction, Disallusionment of adulthood, Disapproval, Distrust, Envy, Etiquette, Evil, Faith, Family, Fate, Fear, Forbidden, Freedom, Future, Government, Greed, Grief, Guilt, Handicap, Hatred, Hospital, Initiation, Injustice, Institutions, Jail, Jealousy, Justice, Lack of compassion, Lies, Loss, Materialism, Nation, Nature, Nature as dangerous, Oppression, Past, Power, Persecution, Poverty, Prejudice, Pride, Prison, Problems, Punishment, Rebelling, Rejection, Religion, Responsibility, Revenge, Rules, Sacrifice, Schools, Self-Doubt, Shame, Society, Taxes, Time, Town, Tragedy, Vengeance, Village, Vulnerability, War.

After you finish writing your story or when you’ve finished your outline, what has your main character learned from his conflict? What did the main character learn in his battle against one of the conflicts listed above? This is the theme. Make it a universal theme shared by all mankind, so that all of mankind will want to read your book.

The Universal Theme
The universal theme is the story’s (author’s) view about life and how people behave. It is the statement the story makes about society, human nature, or the human condition that the author wants to convey to readers. It’s an observation about life that can apply to any and everyone representing the conflicts, dreams, hopes, and fears across cultures and continents, and from generation to generation. It could be the moral to the story, a teaching, or an observation. It transcends race, gender, sexual preference, and creed. Some examples are love, peace, friendship, and other concepts about life.

Universal themes exist because people worldwide go through the common human experiences of being born, experiencing anguish and joy, and dying come from emotions and that touch and can apply to any and all cultures, genders, ages, sexual preference, creeds, geography, historical periods, and genres.

The universal theme is the story’s (author’s) view about life and how people behave in a particular situation. It is a statement the story makes about society, human nature, or the human condition through the author’s words and characters. The theme is universal when it transcends race, gender, sexual preference, creed. cultures, continents, and generations representing the conflicts, dreams, hopes, and fears such as: love, peace, friendship, and other concepts about life that can apply to any and everyone.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Conflict of Nature against death
You do not have to worry about dying and death. It’s a natural thing.

Law and Order Television Series by Dick Wolf
Conflict of Good over Evil – Dick Wolf presents both sides of the issues
Even with the latest technology and evidence, police and district attorneys do not always win their cases against evil.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Love against society, family, death
Love can be so passionate that one would prefer death to living without the loved one.

Here are links I went to find information about universal themes:
http://www.orangeusd.k12.ca.us/yorba/literary_elements.htm
http://www.life123.com/parenting/education/children-reading/12-most-common-themes-in-literature.shtml
http://www.dcmp.org/guides/9467.pdf

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081022125536AAzRGHD
http://www.episcopalacademy.org/FileBank/Eax_FileBank_FileName_9697_K051J82.pdf
http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/tccampa-65525-literary-themes-literature-education-ppt-powerpoint/
www.joyet.biz/downloads/Genres_vs_Themes.ppt

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_you_conclude_the_sentence_that_begins_’Universal_themes_in_literature_exist_because_people_worldwide’&alreadyAsked=1&rtitle=Universal_themes_in_literature_exist_because_people_worldwide

Universal Emotions

Emotions Are Universal.

Put emotions in your story. It makes your characters come alive. One way to make your story have universal appeal is to add the tension of opposing emotions. We all feel mixed emotions every day. Should we do this? We shouldn’t do that. It’s smart to do this. How could I be so stupid? How could he be so naive? What’s the wisest choice? What are my choices? Do I get a choice? When a character has two or three choices and none of them are very good, it’s tension time for reading and living, and it makes the reader want to turn the page.

All people experience emotions. Putting believable emotions into your story will help it reach more readers.

Here are Paul Ekman’s Big Six Emotions
Anger
Disgust
Fear
Happiness
Sadness
Surprise

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emotions
Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions Robert Plutchik used the above six emotions and added two others below:
Acceptance
Anticipation

Ekman’s Eleven Other Basic Emotions
Amusement
Contempt
Contentment
Embarrassment
Excitement
Guilt
Pride in achievement
Relief
Satisfaction
Sensory pleasure
Shame

The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin gives nine emotions
Nine Emotions
Acceptance
Anger
Apathy
Courageousness
Fear
Grief
Lust
Peace
Pride

Nine States of Emotional Empowerment by Swati Chopra
http://www.lifepositive.com/Mind/Emotions/Nine_states_of_Emotional_empowerment92004.asp

Swati Chopra from New Delhi, India says the nine rasas are:
Distress (hunger, discomfort)
Happiness
Satisfaction

Love
Compassion
Awe
Peace
Laughter
Valour
Fear
Disgust
Anger

Here are websites with information about emotions:

http://library.thinkquest.org/25500/index2.htm Great gives text descriptions of body when feeling 6 basic emotions
http://www.clipartguide.com/_search_terms/feelings.html Great! Pictures matched with emotions
http://www.feelingfacescards.com/
http://www.face-and-emotion.com/dataface/emotion/expression.jsp
http://www.eqi.org/fw.htm
http://www.eqi.org/cnfs.htm
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emotions

I hope you enjoyed my blog post. I hope I enlightened you, rather than confused you. Please let me know if I helped you make your writing appeal to more people, to make it more universally appealing. Capture this universal appeal and you’ll capture an editor’s heart!

If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, I would be honored if you would. The sixth person to subscribe to my blog after May 12, 2010 from the left hand column where it says, “Sign Me Up Here,” will receive a free paperback copy of my book, Flip Flap Floodle, a little duck who never gives up on his song. Don’t give up on your writing. Never Give Up on winning and resolving conflicts that come your way.

You are a published author in your mind, before you get that way on paper.  You can do it. Yes, you can.

Please write a comment below. Click on comment and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

COMMENT

Never Give Up
Live with Enthusiasm
Celebrate Each Step You Take

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2010-2016 Joan Y. Edwards

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  1. Never Give Up image
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